How Much Pool Evaporation is Normal?

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If you have a pool or are considering buying one, it’s important to understand evaporation rates and how much pool evaporation is normal. 

Pool owners want to keep their water clean and their pool equipment functioning properly, but it’s also important to monitor your pool’s evaporation. Pool evaporation is natural, you may see it as the sun heats your swimming pool water and the air cools it down. 

The amount of pool evaporation will depend on the surrounding climate and other factors, such as the size of your swimming pool and the type of cover you have over it.

Pool evaporation

However, if you have too much or too little evaporation, you could be dealing with problems like algae growth, freezing water, and unsightly white marks on your deck, so it’s worth knowing what’s healthy pool evaporation and what’s not. 

Here are some ways to know what healthy pool evaporation looks like.

Why Your Pool Evaporates More Than It Used To

We’ve all seen our pools evaporate over time, but have you ever wondered what the typical pool evaporation rate should be or why your pool may be evaporating more than it used to? 

Well, there are a few things that could cause this to happen. 

pool evaporation

To maintain sanitized water, chlorine must be present to keep bacteria from growing and increasing in your pool. Low chlorine levels are the most common reasons for higher-than-normal water evaporation rates. Low chlorine levels will allow organic matter to accumulate on the pool’s surface, leading to excessive evaporation due to its high heat conductivity. 

If you live in an area with hard water, your pool might evaporate more than normal. Hard water contains excessive minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which can bind bathers’ skin cells to each other cell clusters. These minerals won’t dissolve easily when this happens because they’re stuck on these cell clusters. More molecules are suspended in the water and absorbed into the air during evaporation.

The Causes of Pool Evaporation

The amount of evaporation will vary depending on the type of pool, its size, and whether or not it has a recirculation system.

  1. The pool’s surface area affects how much water evaporates daily. 
  2. Recirculated pools lose less water than non-recirculated pools because they circulate the same amount of water through the filter and back into the pool. Non-recirculated pools need to fill with water from an outside source every few days to maintain a healthy level.
  3. Concrete pools are more prone to evaporation because the sun heats their surfaces quickly.
  4. Vinyl liner pools have faster evaporation rates because vinyl can reach temperatures as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit (about 65 degrees Celsius).
  5. Heat rises, so shallow-end pools tend to evaporate faster than deep-end pools.
  6. Hotter months result in higher evaporation levels since the sun is stronger.
  7. Skimmer leaks also contribute to increased levels of evaporation.
  8. Chemicals such as chlorine, algaecide, and clarifiers increase water evaporation.

What Happens When Too Much Water Is Lost

Pool owners should be on the lookout for pool evaporation rates because it can mean that there are problems with their pools. One way to tell if your pool has a high rate of evaporation is by looking at the water level in your skimmer basket, which should be very low if this is the case.

It’s also important to look at other factors like wind and solar exposure that could impact how much water is lost. Some people mistakenly think they have a leak when they really just have an evaporation problem. If you do find out you have a leak, make sure to repair it as soon as possible, or you might end up wasting more than half of your pool water.

Calculate Your Water Evaporation Rate

There are many formulas out there that can estimate the amount of water evaporating from your pool, but all of these calculations require accurate data inputs. 

This means taking into account things like rainfall, heavy pool traffic, water splash-out, and even potential leaks (more on those shortly). Without testing out these variables for yourself, you won’t know how much water you’re losing to evaporation.

For this, we recommend the Bucket Test:

Pool evaporation bucket test

Fill a bucket with the water from your pool. Positioning the bucket so that its rim is just below the surface of the water and then use a marker to draw an outline on both sides. 

Leave it for twenty-four hours and check back to see if any water has evaporated. Now you can really figure out how much water has actually been lost because there are no outside influences, which may be difficult otherwise since climate varies depending on where you live.

Are You Losing Too Much Water?

Water loss is often mistakenly attributed to evaporation when a leak in your pool shell or plumbing is causing it to leak. 

Check pool water levels and keep an eye on the levels of cyanuric acid, if the water level and cyanuric acid levels are more than normal, it might be due to a leak. 

After you perform the test, if the water level inside of the bucket is higher than it is on the outside, then you have a leak.

Ways To Keep Water In Your Swimming Pool

One easy way to keep water in your pool is by using a swimming pool cover. This will prevent the evaporation of water, which is the main cause of a pool losing its water. 

Not only does this save on water bills, but it also saves on chemicals and any other expenses related to maintaining the pool. There are many types of covers available, so make sure you find one that best suits your needs. 

For example, if you have an above-ground pool, your options are much more limited because there is not much room for the cover to lay across the top. If you have an in-ground pool, then there are plenty of options, from bubble covers to solar blankets. 

The type of material used for the cover is important as well. Pool covers made out of heavy-duty plastic will last longer than those made out of lighter materials like polyester or vinyl. Solar covers are another option. However, they can be expensive and take up precious space during the day. They are also hard to install and need time to warm up before they start working.


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